How to Get the Most Out of Auto Repair Shops »
Your car is a big part of your life. You need it to last, but many times getting maintenance work done at auto repair shops can br…
Your car is a big part of your life. You need it to last, but many times getting maintenance work done at auto repair shops can br…
You need a reliable auto repair shop you can count on when it's time to take your car in for care. Get good tips for finding the b…
Some auto repair service shops may target women as uninformed consumers they can overcharge. Find out about common scams and strat…
Rich Mixon - BellSouth Corporation Collisionworx Auto Body was first "introduced" to me by accident while traveling through Memphis, TN from the Mississippi Gulf coast en route for East Tennessee. I was involved in an MVA (motor vehicle accident), in this metropol...moreitan city of 1,000,000 residents. I was alone and knew nobody within 800 an mile radius (300 miles East & 500 miles South). My Toyota Camry suffered severe damage of the complete front end. The impact of the collision was so severe my hood was bent in half, pushed towards the windshield ("V" shaped). In 5:00pm commuter traffic, The Memphis Police notified a "wrecker service" to come to the scene with a flatbed (my Camry could not be "towed'.) The driver transported me & the remains of my Toyota Camry to 6916 Appling Farms Pkwy (Whitten Rd, I-40 Exit 15 (zip 38133). When I arrived I saw the nicest, cleanest Auto Body Shop I had ever seen. My initial thought was $$. I was mistaken. On that date, I had the privilege to meet Mr. Whitlock. He was so "calming" and reassuring. He showed much concern for my "well being" as he did for my vehicle. Being 6:00pm, Collisionworx was closing...Mr. Whitlock asked his staff to stay until he knew I had transportation enroute and had obtained my work related belongings from my vehicle. He provided me his personal number and graciously invited me to remain on the property until my ride (from East TN) arrived. He even phoned me from his personal phone to "check" on me. The following weeks he contacted me to advise me the "updates & status" progress Collisionworx had made on my Camry. When COLLISIONWORX repaired my car in a duration of time (I did not think was possible), I did not recognize my car. It looked better than it did before the collision. The body work was the most elite ever. The painting process looked of better quality than Toyota applied at the factory. Today, that was 3 years 7 months ago. I have only had oil changes & replaced tires per regular maintenance. Not one "sign" the car had ever been in a collision. *Unlike many other auto body experiences I have heard, Mr. Whitlock was 100% available & concerned "how is your car doing". He was aware I was "passing through" Memphis but continued to treat me as if I was local. I continue to correspond with Collisionworx 3+ years later. Recently I needed minor body work done. I went to 2 local body shops. Their work was far below standard. Family/friends said it was unnecessary to drive 4 hours to Memphis (to Collisionworx) to have this unrelated body work done. My reply was simply, "You have never been to "Collisonworx". That is all I can say to you also. I consider Mr. Whitlock a friend, and his staff my family. The staff, namely "Patricia" & "Pat" were and continue to be so good to me. When I phone regarding my Camry (annual maintenance, etc) I feel they stop what they are doing and listen to me and respond with care. If only our society had more businesses & individuals such as the family at Collisionworx, we would be in "safer trusting hands". I was never made to feel that Collisionworx was simply trying to "make $" from a motorist at another's mercy. You have my word as well as Collisionworx's, there is NO OTHER AUTO BODY shop. -Rich Mixon, East Tennessee"view less
I was in an accident in the early part of December. As the person at fault had Geico Insurance, I was given the option of Desoto Collision to perform the repairs. The office is run like a well-oiled machine. I walked into the office and gave my name, Kevin from Geico walk...moreed out of a side office, introduced himself and explained the entire process. After walking outside to assess the damage, the service manager walked out and introduced himself and again went over in detail the entire process. I had an out-of-state inspection sticker, and other stickers on the front, side and back windows, and though not part of the accident, when I asked if they could remove them, the service manager expressed that he would have the stickers removed. My car was in the shop from 12/8 to 12/29, and throughout the process I received regular texts and phone calls to update me on the service being performed and expected completion date. The evening I picked up my car, I met the infamous Patrick, who also was very professional. As with everyone I met, Patrick was very clear about the work that had been performed and made himself available for any concerns I might have in the future. As I am recently moved to Memphis, Patrick offered himself as a resource for any concerns I may have with my car. I have read the reviews below and am surprised. I expected Patrick to be this sleazy/shady character, but in fact he was the exact opposite. My experience was very positive. They were apologetic about the wait time but due to the holidays, I understood it could not be helped. I was provided a rental for 30 days, so there really was nothing to complain about. I would certainly take my car to Desoto if I need body work in the future!!!view less
Came in here one Saturday, ( one of the only good mechanics open on Saturday). My car was making a really obnoxious noise that had gone from bad to worse. About 10 a.m. that day my car's lights started to flicker. Fortunately for me, I was able to get on this website and dis...morecover Bartlett Automotive. Before this I had called another well-known Memphis mechanic shop. They suggested that it could be my alternator and quoted me a seriously ridiculous fee over the phone. I won't say the name of this place, but, it starts with a G. Their price seemed way over the top, so I started to explore my options. Obviously it was important to find a place that is open on Saturdays. At this point I started exploring my options and just happened upon Bartlett Automotive. I called and they seemed really nice and professional on the phone. This helped when I decided to try them out. Turns out that I was just able to make it there before my alternator gave out. Kenny ( the owner), and his wife (Micky) were as nice as could be and I could sense that all they wanted to do was help me get back on the road. If that wasn't enough Kenny quoted me a price, part and all, that was less than half of that other place. Needless to say, I was extremely glad that I was able to find this shop, and in the future, I will not hesitate to take my car issues to Bartlett Automotive. In this day and age, it's really nice to find someone that you can trust with your vehicle. view less
An auto repair professional - or mechanic - is an expert at finding, evaluating and fixing a wide range of automobile problems. Mechanics are asked to quickly diagnose vehicle issues, ranging from the exterior look of a car, motorcycle, van or truck, all the way to interior problems with the engine, brakes, mufflers, gears, or anything else that may be in need of repair. Once he or she evaluates the situation, an auto repair professional will provide you with a quote, or the expected amount of money it will take to fix the problem, along with a timeframe of how long the process will take. Depending on the severity of the vehicle's issues, the time-frame of a mechanic's work can vary. Some repairs can be done instantaneously, while others involve ordering specific parts and materials, meaning they can take hours, days or even weeks before the car is completely fixed.
Auto repair professionals are typically educated through training programs and specialty schools, learning about the different ways vehicles are constructed, damaged and ultimately repaired. There are multiple subjects covered in these programs, including auto repair and maintenance, restoration of damaged parts, collision repair and electronics. Some mechanics have a wide base of knowledge for a great number of makes and models of vehicles. Others are specialized, with a concentration on just one type or brand of automobile.
Many mechanics work out of shops with other automotive experts called body shops or garages. These businesses vary in how they are owned and operated. Some are connected to auto dealerships or large auto parts stores. This type of garage is very popular, especially for vehicle owners who have a warranty on their automobile. Depending on the terms of the contract, you may be entitled to a discount through the dealer for repairs and checkups on the vehicle.
However, many auto repair businesses are operated independently of a car manufacturer or specific brand. From large chains to neighborhood-based garages, these locations are often certified by a manufacturer to perform work within a warranty or make repairs if a company recalls a product. An independent business can also earn certification through programs sponsored by a manufacturer, meaning it is licensed to sell products and make repairs on specific vehicles. Independent auto repair businesses have a reputation as being more focused on customer service than larger, dealer-backed garages.
For car owners who need a repair on their vehicle, determining the best auto repair professional to use can be an intimidating task. There are several concerns out there in terms of mechanics who overcharged unsuspecting customers or billed people for items that don't require fixing. Understanding how you can find a reliable mechanic, what issues require professional auto repair services and how you can fix some of your own car problems are all important parts of vehicle ownership.
There are more than 700,000 auto service technicians and mechanics in the U.S. Finding the right one to repair a dent in your car door or fix an engine that won't start can be overwhelming, especially when it's an emergency. Review a few important facts about auto repair professionals and what you can do to get the best possible mechanic working on your vehicle's issues for a fair price.
Looking For Reliability
Unlike home repair services that evaluate a property, meet with homeowners and have time to prepare before their physical work begins, auto repair businesses are often asked to make fixes on the spot. If you come into a garage with a tire issue, the expectation is the mechanic will know how to correct that problem quickly.
That is why reliability is so vital when searching for a trusted auto repair shop. It may take going to several different mechanics before you find one you are truly comfortable with. Pose questions to this professional to find out what approach they will take to repair your car or what alternatives are available. Shopping around also gives you the best opportunity to find the cheapest rate or the fastest service, as some garages may be backed up with other vehicles that need repair first.
A recommended way to locate a trustworthy auto repair professional is to seek out customer reviews. Online sites offer honest opinions from real customers who have used a business. Read through this feedback to learn how a business operates and what you can expect if you were to take your vehicle there. Look for reviews about how quick maintenance was completed and if prices were fair. By learning what other people have said about a garage, you can gain a better idea if it's the right place to go when you have a car problem in need of fixing.
It can be difficult to know which automotive problems are serious enough to require expert assistance. A ripped seat cushion or broken radio don't involve safety and will not warrant enough of a problem that going into a garage is required. However, setbacks with brakes, lights and other parts that are vital to the safety of your car's driver and passengers, as well as others on the road, necessitate quick fixes. Many modern automobiles will notify drivers of an issue, in the form of a signal on the dashboard or a noise within the vehicle.
In the event of an accident, even if your vehicle does not appear to have any damage on the outside, it is generally recommended that you see a trusted auto repair professional. Internal damage may have occurred, or an important part may have been knocked out of place. Fixing these issues before driving much further can prevent further vehicle breakdowns in the future. In the case of a serious accident, a body shop can assess the problems and determine the best course of action for repairs, as well as evaluate how much they will cost.
Beyond that, regular checkups are recommended. Tires must be rotated, fluids needs to be replaced and the engine must be evaluated. After driving 25,000 miles, most auto dealers suggest having the vehicle checked out to ensure everything is running smoothly. Taking the car into the auto repair professional you trust will protect you from further problems down the road.
Not every type of auto repair work needs to be done by a certified mechanic. You can fix some of a vehicle's issues just by paying attention to how the automobile is running and having a basic understanding of auto repair. Look over the ways weather may impact your car and what preventative measures you can take to avoid having to take it into the shop. At the same time, be aware of mechanic scams that can impact your experience.
Preventing Trips To The Professional
Some fixes to your car can be done without paying a specialist. Issues like replacing oil and air filters are relatively simple, with instructions provided in the owner's manual on how to make these changes. The same goes for replacing broken windshield wipers or burnt-out headlights. Such issues should be repaired quickly to guarantee safety, but don't require a visit to a garage. By handling these types of tasks on your own, you'll gain a better understanding for how your car operates and save time and money.
Along with understanding how to fix manageable vehicle issues that may arise, taking preventative measures to avoid future problems is a valuable time saver. Many problem-solving best practices are related to the seasons. Your vehicle will be in different conditions in the winter than in the summer, meaning it requires a different type of preparation.
In the spring and summer, you want to be sure your air conditioner and cooling systems work correctly. Given the high temperatures the vehicle will be exposed to, overheating is a common problem. Look over the system by ensuring there is enough coolant available. If it needs to be refilled, it is best to open the hood and add more to the car before it gets too warm out. Also, clean out fan ducts and other ventilation sources necessary for summertime driving.
For winter driving, features such as the defroster, heater and exhaust system are paramount. Look in your owner's manual for specific directions on how features should be checked and repaired. Many newer cars have a cabin air filter that can be replaced when needed, allowing warm air to continue to flow in. Also, check your tires before winter driving, as they need to be at the proper pressure to perform well on snow and ice.
There is a common worry among many people that auto repair professionals take advantage of the general public. Because so many people are unaware of how to fix the problems in their vehicle, they are nervous of being overcharged by mechanics or worried that the improper work is being done.
While the great majority of professionals in the industry are honest, hard-working people, a few bad apples can ruin everything. You should be extra careful when first visiting a mechanic to guarantee that the price you're charged and maintenance the vehicle receives are fair.
Among the common scams pulled are needless repairs, where a garage charges you for work that isn't necessary. Another popular one is attracting customers through a cheap oil change or tire pressure check. Then, when you are in the shop and your car is being repaired, they give you a long list of other corrections they'd like to make, therefore boosting the total cost of your bill.
The best way to combat these types of problems is getting a written estimate before work is done. That way, you can see how much repairs are expected to cost. If the final bill is higher than the estimate projected, ask to specifically see the work. Make sure information is put in writing as well. If a problem remains, you can have proof that work was not done to your satisfaction.
By working closely with an auto repair professional and doing some of the tune-up work on your own, you will be less likely to fall for these scams. At the same time, you'll be able to drive out with a clean and healthy vehicle, thanks to the repairs made by a trained professional.